14-year-old invites attorney general to school

Published 11:32 am Saturday, March 17, 2012


FRANKLIN—An interest in politics can’t start too early, and Duncan Trotter, 14, is an example.

The eighth-grader’s invitation to have Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli speak at J.P. King Middle School was RSVP’d Friday morning.

“What he does and the process he goes through impressed me,” said Duncan, who sent an e-mail to the attorney general’s website two months ago asking him to visit.

Accompanied by his assistant, Ben Mason, Cuccinelli met with Principal Angela Byrd-Wright, Duncan and his parents.

“He loves politics,” said Trotter’s mother, Chris.

She and husband, Dale, proudly watched as their youngest of five children introduced Cuccinelli before a packed auditorium of classmates, teachers, and school and city officials.

In addition to taking a civics class taught by Richard Wright at the school, Duncan’s interest also extends to radio.

“I listen to Sean Hannity (a conservative talk-show host) in the car,” he said.

Watching televised NBC specials on politics is another media source for him.

Asked for guesses for the GOP nomination, though, he wasn’t willing to make a prediction.

Cuccinelli praised the boy’s “great initiative,” which was a first for him.

During the hour-long program, Cuccinelli spoke about his background of becoming an attorney, and how a growing dissatisfaction with a state senator led to his own campaigns and rise to the state office.

“If you’re interested in politics, you can participate now and be involved in your community,” he said. “Do what Duncan did and write to your representatives.”

Students such as Daisha Harris, Greg Pope and Toriano Sykes submitted questions for the speaker. These ranged from an interest in summer internships to challenges of the work. “Balancing family and the demands of the job,” said Cuccinelli, a father of seven. “It’s worse running for office than being in office.”

After the program, Bryd-Wright gave Cuccinelli a gift bag of items representing the school.